Population and Sustainability Franzi Poldy CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems School of Resources, Environment and Society ANU 20 March 2007
Population and Sustainability • complex link between population and sustainability • how we deal with that complexity • system boundaries
Sustainability • not systematically relying on things that can’t go on indefinitely • consumption of non-renewable resources • waste disposal to finite sinks • economic growth (physical aspects?)
The Complex Link to Population • I = P A T or • I = P L O T • Impact • Population • Affluence • Lifestyle • Organisation • Technology
history 1941 – 2001 ‘complete & consistent’ scenarios 2001 – 2101 800 variables ~ 100,000 time series disaggregation population (one variable) 2 sexes 8 states 21 ages 336 time series 12 building types 22 vehicle types 39 secondary materials 10 crops 19 minerals 56 manufactured goods too many fish types 9 fuels 15 electricity generation technologies all stocks vintaged Australian Stocks and Flows
Tracking Stocks and Flows • people need • food, housing, transport, etc. • food implies • land, crops, animals, tractors, etc. • houses are made of • bricks, timber, steel, glass, etc. • transport requires • road, terminals, vehicles, fuel, etc. • etc, etc • etc, etc, etc ! ! !
Three Population Scenarios annual net migration • zero • 70,000 • 0.67% 2050 population • 20m • 25m • 32m
Alternative Fuel Consumption Rates for New Cars Whole Fleet Car Energy Use Car Energy Use
Energy Efficient Scenarios – Assumptions ‘Factor 4’ Scenario 50% by 2020 for: • building mass • building operating materials and energy • mass of consumer goods / white goods • vehicle mass and energy ‘High Tech’ Scenario • building energy – 50% by 2020 • car energy – 3 litre/100km by 2020 • other vehicles energy – 50% by 2020
System Boundaries - I • sustainability is a property of wholes • there are no sustainable parts of unsustainable wholes • this applies • geographically • conceptually
System Boundaries - II • what does this mean for local action? • sustainable this . . . that . . . and the other • very problematic • it may be politically important to do something • be sure it doesn’t make things worse • is the local action part of a long term, whole system strategy that works? • how do you know?
System Boundaries - III • do we want • more fuel efficient cars? • more energy efficiency all round? • energy efficiency – necessary, but not sufficient • energy efficiency alone makes things worse • metholodologies for studying these issues? • economics • physical accounting • anthropology?
energy is different energy costs set prices energy profit ratios fossil fuel ‘subsidy’ global oil peak energy and technology large CO2 emission reductions needed infrastructure lifetimes efficiency encourages use carbon trading does not reduce CO2 emissions hydrogen is an energy sink Some Issues for Energy Policy
Sustainability • sustainability is • a property of the whole system • about the long term • physical • Australian Stocks and Flows Framework • whole economy • last 60 years; next 100 years • material and energy flows • in physical terms
The ‘Physical’ Economy • only one economy • peoples’ choices valuation $$$ • sustainability SI units • data problems (chicken and egg) • no systematic physical data • hard to do whole system physical analyses • no ‘theory’ to guide data collection • cf. economic data • large body of economic theory • System of National Accounts • systematic data collected • core business for ABS
Scenarios and Strategy • almost all policy is ‘tactical’ • incremental improvements • based on current behaviour / choice • short term (< 20 years) • the ‘stock-in-trade’ of mainstream economics • we also need ‘strategy’ • deciding where to go • understanding possibilities and limits • taking account of the long term (50+ years) • scenario analysis
whatIf? user decision maker analyst control variables population tension report lifestyle Australian Stocks and Flows Framework technology investment emissions target food required labour required water required labour available food produced emissions achieved water available The whatIf? approach include prices ? feedback
whatIf? trainee pilot flight controls up / down instruments left / right Flight Simulator N / S / E / W fast / slow flight plan safety flight plan safety navigation altitude / weather on schedule other aircraft The whatIf? approach to flying autopilot on ? feedback
ASFF Information Flow(Simplified) population consumables buildings transport construction agriculture forestry fishing mining manufacturing recycling materials & energy trade manufacturing recycling materials & energy trade downward arrows - physical accounting – no upward arrows - choice not modelled
ASFF Information Flow downward arrows - physical accounting – no upward arrows - choice not modelled
economic activity labour participation population productivity labour required labour available Thinking about Tensions labour required > labour available not possible (not a labour shortage) labour required < labour available unemployment
Built 1946-51 Dwelling Age Distribution